Major Auckland rail upgrade underway

The first steps have been taken on two major projects to propel Auckland’s rail commuter service into the future.

“KiwiRail is straight out of the blocks on these projects worth a total of $686 million, which were announced on January 29. We are now seeking expressions of interest from construction companies for electrifying the line from Papakura to Pukekohe,” says Chief Operating Officer Capital Projects David Gordon.

“We have also received final submissions from engineering companies interested in designing the Wiri to Quay Park project, which will ease congestion on the busiest parts of the network between central Auckland and Wiri.

“The network already enables people to make 21.4 million trips a year. Once the City Rail Link projects are finished, we expect there will be another jump in commuter numbers as people recognise the benefits of rail commuting.

“The Wiri to Quay Park project will see an extra rail line built between Westfield and Wiri in South Auckland, that is heavily congested with freight trains going to and from key freight hubs, and increasingly frequent metro commuter services.

“This project is crucial for the CRL to deliver the level of commuter service Auckland needs.

“Extending electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe will mean better reliability and more capacity for commuters traveling to and from Pukekohe, and support the housing developments in the southern part of Auckland but allow people easy access to the central city.

“Currently passengers have to switch from electric to diesel commuter trains at Papakura. We expect electrification to enable people to stay on the same train on a more reliable service.

“The Government has invested heavily in the Auckland network. We are making good progress in making sure that investment delivers as quickly as possible for Aucklanders.”

The $686 million of funding for the Wiri to Quay Park and Papakura to Pukekohe projects was announced as part of the Government’s recent $6.8 billion transport infrastructure investment through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.